Monday, March 5, 2018

AFP Vs Eigel

Americans for Prosperity has come out in opposition to Sen. Bill Eigel’s tax reform package.  See their press release here.  AFP appears to have problems with the gas tax hike in Eigel’s bill and the inclusion of the earned income tax credit.

Eigel and AFP getting crossways is something new.  Eigel notes that “Last year Americans For Prosperity rated my voting record as the ONLY 100% conservative ‘Champion of Freedox’ in the Missouri.”

But Eigel feels that the only way he can move the bill forward is to offer some compromises.  He writes: “[SB 617] includes nearly $1.2 billion in cuts to your income tax bill when fully implemented.  There is no path to getting these types of cuts unless I’m willing to consider some sort of concession on issues that my Senate colleagues have a different opinion on….  That being said, I’m a small business owner.  I know a good deal when I see it.  The opportunity to make more than a billion dollars in long term tax cuts in exchange for a short term increase in our gas tax is a great deal for every single one of my constituents…”

This demonstrates the narrow path that tax reform must travel to get to the governor’s desk this session.  There are three different interests that could potentially filibuster and derail the bill.   First, the tax-cutting desires of conservative groups like AFP, second the fiscally hawkish group led by Pro Tem Ron Richard who don’t want to leave a budget hole for next year’s legislature, and third Democrats who are looking for some progressive elements as a reason to sit down on the bill.


The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to hold a hearing on Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr’s tax reform package this week.


Q&A #1: Can Greitens Get Back to Governing?

Short answer: Two paths you can go by.


Last week’s MOScout poll showed a popularity implosion: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Eric Greitens?

29% Favorable

53% Unfavorable

14% You have no opinion

4% Not sure

Do you think Governor Eric Greitens should resign from office?

46% Yes

37% No

17% Not sure

And Post-Dispatch’s Kevin McDermott asks if Governor Eric Greitens is too wounded/distracted to govern effectively.  See it here.

Pull Quote: “[T]he question of removing an accused-but-not-yet-tried governor puts two important American principles into conflict: the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; and the right of taxpaying citizens to get full service from their elected officials without being distracted by the task of mounting a defense in a criminal trial…. [S]ince the scandal began, Greitens has been virtually inaccessible to reporters, who he knows will inevitably want to ask him about things other than his budget plan. Greitens has called on the Legislature to enact Missouri tax cuts similar to controversial federal tax cuts passed last year. Selling that idea to some lawmakers was going to be tough for Greitens even without an indictment hanging over his head… Greitens has toured the state to promote the plan, but legislative support hasn’t followed. In the hierarchy of news, budget speeches invariably draw less attention than a pending criminal case. Some of the lawmakers he will have to woo have already stated publicly that they think he should resign.

The rift between Greitens and the Legislature was highlighted on Thursday, when the governor unveiled a proposed change to his budget, calling for using an unexpected windfall of $80 million to finance an initiative to expand broadband internet access in rural areas of the state. Instead of rallying behind that idea, Greitens’ fellow Republicans have voiced other ideas for the money, including restoration of funding to higher education…”


So, how do you get back to governing from this situation?  There are two ways out. The first appears to be Team Greitens current plan: hunker down, wait for the Gardner indictment to pass or quiet down, and then slowly rebuild the governor’s political capital.  The reason I don’t think this will work is because I think there are likely more charges coming.

The other is stop avoiding the microphone, and answer questions completely honestly.  If you used the donor list, say so and admit the mistake.   If you used non-profit emails, say so, and admit the mistake.  Say you’ll take the consequences, and then take them.  Act like a leader, and folks may rally around you.



Senator McCaskill Twitter pic at staff Oscar party.  See it here.


Treasurer Schmitt with twitter-zinger reply.  See it here.


Senate 32: O’Brian Big Support

Joplin Globe reports that the Rob O’Brian senate talk is real, with some big-time supporters.  See it here.

Pull Quote: “The committee conducting the assessment of a potential state Senate run for Rob O'Brian, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce director, has been dubbed ‘Friends of Rob.’ The group includes TAMKO Building Products CEO David Humphreys, Sen. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, Steve McIntosh, a former aide for U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, and various other area residents and business owners.”


More House Dem Candidates This Year

Sen. Jill Schupp’s event last Friday was sold out.  Jason Kander and Stephen Webber were there.  There was a lot of talk about how hard Webber has been working to recruit candidates. A quick back of the napkin analysis shows that there are 98 House races with at least one Democrat filed. In 2016, there were 86 House races with a Democrat running. That’s a 14% increase.



Rep. Jeanie Lauer announced on Facebook: It is official...I have filed for the Jackson County Legislature, District 5 seat! It has been an honor and exciting to have served on the Blue Springs City Council and currently as State Representative for Eastern Jackson County! This is a great opportunity for me to continue to serve after I am termed out in the House of Representatives at the end of this year…


Jill Irvin has joined the governor’s office as Assistant Director of Boards and Commissions.  And Amelia Lutz as Deputy Press Secretary.


NYTimes has an article on the pole attachment issue taking place throughout the country as cell phone companies work to roll out a 5G infrastructure.  See it here.



Press release: Missouri’s race to provide patients in need with medical cannabis just got more competitive.  Today’s announcement of another $280,000 raised by Missourians for Patient Care (MPC) places a clear lead change among several initiative petitions vying for the November 2018 ballot box.


New Candidate Filings

Linda Ellen Greeson filed to run for House 59 as a Democrat.  This is Mike Bernskoetter’s seat.

Kimberly-Ann Collins filed to run in House 77 as a Democrat.  She will be primarying Rep. Steve Roberts.

Dennis Lee Chilton filed to run in House 135 as a Democrat. This Rep. Steve Helms’ district.


One reader pointed out that Reps. Cora Faith Walker (House 74) and Jean Evans (House 99) haven’t filed yet.

Of course that creates rumors.  For Walker, it’s that she might be considering jumping into the Senate 14 race; and for Evans it’s that she could be a GOP candidate in Senate 24.  But Evans doesn’t live in that district so that’s probably just people talking. We’ll see…


Weekend eMailbag

Regarding St. Jack. Hypocrisy stinks. And those of us in Kansas City can smell the

stench all the way across the state.  It began during the stem cell campaign when he

stood by Jim Talent while Talent waffled on the issue vs. Claire McCaskill who stood with

Wash U, Stowers and the rest of the scientific community…


I think Jeff Roe is involved because he likes to fight. And when any Republican sees Jane Dueker and Roy Temple gloating on social media it's like catnip to a guy like Jeff….


[Maybe] one of the reasons that Ann Wagner isn't meeting with Eric Greitens is she would be a potential Gov. candidate in 2020…


“With all of the huggaballoo around Greitens, this little nugget didn't get much attention: Barb Womack, former president of the Greater KC Women’s Political Caucus has now actively worked against Lauren Arthur in two different elections, favoring the male candidate over Arthur.  And both times Lauren has completely trounced the guy she was up against…  Arthur looks sweet and unassuming, but folks should probably start to recognize that this woman sets a course and goes about the business of winning, all other distractions be damned….”


Help Wanted

MIRA (Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates) seeks Executive Director. “The Executive Director will work with staff, coalition members, and the Board of Directors to fundraise, develop and support programming that advances MIRA’s mission and builds the sustainability of the organization. The ideal candidate will be an experienced leader in nonprofit management, fundraising and immigration who is committed to immigrant rights, racial equality, and social justice. Fundraising to insure financial sustainability of the organization is an important charge of this position…”  See it here.


This Week’s Events


Annual Student Advocacy Day – Capitol.

St. Louis City Alderwoman Megan Green kick-off for President of Board of Aldermen – UrbArts, St. Louis – 6PM.


ACLU Lobby Day – Capitol.

March Health Care Lobby Day – Capitol.

American College of Physicians Advocacy Day – Capitol.

Missouri Memory Day – those affected by Alzheimer’s – Capitol.

Fundraiser for Crystal Williams at Majestic Steakhouse, KC – 5PM.


International Women's Day – Capitol.

Dan Wibracht (Dem, House 72) fundraiser – Third Wheel Brewing, St. Peters – 4PM

Abby Zevos (Dem, House 38) kick-off at Four Horses and Dag Winery, Excelsior Springs – 5:30PM.


Missouri Ethics Commission “Recognizing 25 years” Open House – 1PM.

Fundraiser for Cort VanOstran (Dem, CD-2) at the home of Rep. Stacey Newman – 5:30PM. Saturday

Fundraiser for Rep. Doug Beck at Lakewood Hall, Affton – 3PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Mark Farnen added Paris Road Plaza LLC.

William Gamble added B.F. Ascher & Co., Inc.

Lana Ladd Baker added Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Doug Amacher deleted MSDC Management LP, and MSD Partners L.P.

Richard Moore deleted Richard Moore.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $31,850 from Missouri AFL-CIO General Fund.

Committee for Frank Albani - $15,000 from Frank Albani.

MO Cable PAC - $6,077 from Mediacom Communication Corp.

Health Education and Learning Political Action Committee Inc (HEALPAC) - $10,000 from Health Education and Learning Political Action Committee (HEALPAC).

Missouri for Patient Care - $280,000 from Missouri for Patient Care.

Keep Government Accountable - $25,000 from United Auto Workers V Cap.

Progress KC - $15,000 from JE Dunn Construction Company.

We Are Missouri - $20,000 from UFCW District Union Local2.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Community Leadership PAC Inc.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Shane Roden, and former Rep. Paul Fitzwater.